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Tom Coughlin bothered, but not because Patriots violated unwritten rules

Tom Coughlin AP

Giants coach Tom Coughlin admitted Wednesday he was “very disappointed” to lose tight end Jake Ballard on waivers, while New England coach Bill Belichick sloughed off the idea he violated one of the league’s unwritten rules in picking up the injured tight end.

“First of all, there aren’t any unwrittens,” Belichick said, via ESPNBoston.com. “You can’t negotiate a contract, release him, and then re-negotiate another contract with him that was already done in advance. I’m sure the Giants weren’t doing that. So the player is on waivers, he’s on waivers — ours or anybody else’s. I don’t know what unwrittens you’re talking about.

“Any time you put a player on waivers, you know there are 31 teams out there that can take him if they want him. We all know that. There is no secrets about that.”

Belichick’s explanation comes as no surprise.

Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News wrote that Coughlin “clearly wasn’t pleased,” but the question remains who he’s aggravated at.

The facts in the case are fairly simple.

The Giants were trying to stash a talented but injured player on IR, but they didn’t want to carry him on the roster until cuts started in August. Assuming the league would allow them to do so was, in hindsight, a mistake. Ballard tore his ACL in the Super Bowl (and also needed microfracture surgery), and won’t be ready until 2013. For paying him $540,000 to not play this season, New England retains his exclusive rights next year.

So in exchange for one of their 90 spots in June, the Giants lost a player who caught 38 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns last year.

“Discouraged is a minor description,” Coughlin said. “Very disappointed. I don’t have a lot to say about that. Just the fact that we’re disappointed. Very disappointed.”

Asked why they didn’t just carry him for another two months, Coughlin replied: “Don’t ask me those questions. I don’t have the answers for you. We’re all disappointed. That’s all.”

Giants General Manager Jerry Reese wasn’t quoted, but two things seem clear from this point: The Giants won’t take any chances anytime soon when trying to stash a player, and the Patriots better not try the same tactic, having alerted the league to their indifference to the “unwritten rules.”

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115 Responses to “Tom Coughlin bothered, but not because Patriots violated unwritten rules”
  1. dldove77 says: Jun 13, 2012 12:58 PM

    With roster sizes at 90 now, why did they even risk it? Ridiculous. They have no one to blame but themselves. What’s also crazy is that 30 other teams didn’t do the same thing.

  2. 3yardsndust says: Jun 13, 2012 12:59 PM

    I hate the Patriots, but Belichick is right – there are no unwritten rules. If you want the guy, sign him and pay him. No shenanigans.

  3. mattwalshvideo says: Jun 13, 2012 1:01 PM

    Bill Belicheat “misinterpreted” those un-written rules.

    Just like he “misinterpreted” cheating for over a decade, what a sad slug Belicheater is.

  4. marvsleezy says: Jun 13, 2012 1:03 PM

    There should be no unwritten rules – Good for the Patriots – Why let the Super Bowl champs get any advantage what so ever?

  5. flapjackdaddy says: Jun 13, 2012 1:04 PM

    Of course it was the Patriots.

    And what they heck do they need another TE for?

  6. 69jaredallen69 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:05 PM

    Belichick got pissed when Vikings signed TE Garett Mills a few years back after final cuts when he wanted to sneak him on practice squad. Said Vikings violated unwritten rule and as a result showed no mercy in running up score on Vikings that year. Can’t have it both ways Bill!

  7. smartbutlazy says: Jun 13, 2012 1:05 PM

    The Pats did this a couple years ago when the Broncos waived safety Josh Barrett. Big Hoodie taught Little Hoodie a lesson that time. This should not surprise anyone.

  8. xxwhodatxx says: Jun 13, 2012 1:06 PM

    Maybe BB got the idea from Tom Coughlin’s unwritten rule book. Also included is a whole chapter on faking injuries and another on too many men on the field to run opponents clock.

  9. rexryansdirtysock says: Jun 13, 2012 1:07 PM

    There are no “unwritten rules.” Belichick did this before with Josh Barrett in 2010.

    The Giants made a bone-headed mistake to dangle a talented player like Ballard on waivers, assuming they really wanted to keep him.

    I’m actually surprised that Ballard didn’t receive more claims than just the one. No excuse for this from the Giants.

  10. improvmasta says: Jun 13, 2012 1:09 PM

    Except the Pats did try it, last year, with two rookie TEs. Both of them were claimed during the waiver process and NE went through most of the season with 2 TEs.

    Maybe there wasn’t a story because they didn’t cry about it like the Giants are apparently doing now?

  11. dcornothing says: Jun 13, 2012 1:09 PM

    Glad this wasn’t the Redskins or Cowboys or it would’ve cost them more salary space. Suck it Jerry Reese!

  12. deepthreat says: Jun 13, 2012 1:09 PM

    It also used to be an unwritten rule that Tom Brady and the Patriots never lost playoff games (10-0…) or Super Bowls (3-0). Coughlin broke those unwritten rules a couple of times, so Belichick returned the favor.

  13. nygiantstones says: Jun 13, 2012 1:10 PM

    The Giants have the best TE coach in the NFL; they are extremely adept at developing TEs. Just look at what Kevin Boss did when he left NY…nothing. I expect the same from Ballard. He was a product of the Giant’s system and Eli Manning throwing to him.

    Belichich likes to play passive aggressive games because he’s bitter over losing the last two Superbowls to the Giants. He can keep Ballard and rot in his bitterness. Belichich has no class and can have this victory if it helps him sleep better at night.

  14. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jun 13, 2012 1:10 PM

    About five years ago, Belichick tried to sneak a promising young tight end through waivers to put him on the practice squad and the Vikings claimed him. He was kind of a d-bag about the whole thing because he was upset that the Vikings violated an unwritten rule.

  15. justwinbaby29 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:15 PM

    Sorry Bill, this doesn’t make up for the Giants beating you in the big game. Twice.

  16. hockeyflow33 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:15 PM

    What exactly is the unwritten rule? Guys on waivers can’t be claimed?

    This makes no sense, grow up Coughlin

  17. frankiemontana says: Jun 13, 2012 1:16 PM

    Probably the same unwritten rule as you don’t film your opponents practice

  18. aequitas83 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:16 PM

    I don’t see the issue. Giants decided that the benefit of a roster spot in June was greater than the risk of losing him on waivers. They shouldn’t be pissed, it was their gamble. I’m not a Pats fan, but if they want to pay Ballard to take up a roster spot for a couple months and sit on IR for the rest of the year, that’s more than the Giants were willing to do.

  19. halbriston says: Jun 13, 2012 1:19 PM

    Sucks to lose him, but it’s not a *huge* deal. Tight end is a position where the Giants will never have a problem as long as they have TE coach Mike Pope. The guy can take any TE and make him the best he can possibly be. I’m sure Ballard is going to miss Pope more than anyone.

  20. daysend564 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:20 PM

    Giants should be fined $5M for trying to cheat the system, thereby disrupting the “competitive balance” of teams.

  21. romosmicrodongs says: Jun 13, 2012 1:21 PM

    so mara’s giants were trying to gain an unfair competitive advantage by violating the spirit of the waiver wires? bahahahaha

  22. stanklepoot says: Jun 13, 2012 1:21 PM

    Giants general manager Jerry Reese wasn’t quoted, but two things seem clear from this point: The Giants won’t take any chances anytime soon when trying to stash a player, and the Patriots better not try the same tactic, having alerted the league to their indifference to the “unwritten rules.”
    ________________________________
    This isn’t the first time. The Pats “broke” another unwritten rule when they signed Wes Welker. The Dolphins were trying to keep him at a huge discount with the RFA tender they gave him, and Belichick swooped in and got a great steal.Personally, I love when things like this happen, no matter which team gets the player. All of these unwritten rules seem to revolve around ways that teams can screw over a player and keep them under contract. This is a really simple story. The Giants signed him to a contract, and he got injured helping them win a SB. The Giants then tried to save some money by cutting him, figuring no one would sign him off waivers. They’d later go and offer him a reduced contract because he was injured. End result, they figured they’d keep an extra roster spot open and force him to play for less money because he got injured helping them succeed. I’m glad someone picked him up off waivers.

  23. spook208 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:25 PM

    I get it but yet another classless act by the leader of the Pats. Hope they never see another Superbowl for the rest of his time in the league. They’ve got to hope Ballards happy with sharing time when he gets healthy anyway since Gronks lined up for awhile.

  24. phearfactor says: Jun 13, 2012 1:25 PM

    Belichick not knowing of any unwritten rules?

    No surprise there.

    He always runs up the score and goes for it on 4th down when up by 4 tds.

  25. skins4me says: Jun 13, 2012 1:26 PM

    First the owner now the coach. What is up with the Giants and their own unwritten rules for the league. First you can’t go over the cap in a uncapped year ( I still dont understand that one) , then you can’t take thier players from waivers. Maybe we should get them bibs and change there name to the New York Crybabies!!!!
    It will be intresting to see how the idiot Goddell handles this one. On one hand you have the Crybabies who are crying again so he will need to find a way to cheat the Pats and on the other hand we have spygate who he has already covered up for once. Will he do it again? After all There seems to be a bunch of UNWRITTEN rules in the NFL

  26. mancave001 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:26 PM

    I love this story. Too bad it wasn’t the Eagles, because then we’d be able to start the 2012 version of NY Sports Torture Checklist. Guess it’s New England’s turn!

  27. patriots123456 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:27 PM

    I think Coughlin is more upset that his own team waved him than he is upset that the Pats took him. And he should be IMO.

  28. jmuscia says: Jun 13, 2012 1:29 PM

    Seem to remember Brad Childress and Vikings did the same thing to the Patriots several years ago and Bill expressed his displeasure on being clipped the same way….

  29. sicklife1 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:31 PM

    I don’t understand what all the hub bub is about. Ballard was a nice player for the Giants. Not a Pro Bowler by any stretch of the imagination, but a nice fill in TE at the time when we needed one the most. With Beckam’s emergence (FINALLY) at the end of last year, and the addition of muscle man Bennett & Robinson, we’ll be fine. Add the “do it all man that gets no press” Bear Pascoe, and TE is the least of our worries for this year & beyond. Ballard was a nice surprise last year, but not a game changer that cannot be replaced.

  30. dirtmcgirt24 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:32 PM

    Where, oh where, will the Giants turn to replace this difference maker at TE? And by difference maker, I mean a hair over 2 catches per game and run blocking that helped pave the way for the league’s worst rushing attack.

    As a Giants fan, I love the kid, but, Tony Gonzalez he is not. And it’s not like the team has a ton of cap room to spare for a guy who will catch 0 passes in 2012. There are other more important guys to resign.

    Belichick did the Giants a favor.

  31. sportssince85 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:32 PM

    I know ur mad Mora cause an unwritten rule was broken so why don’t you dock the Pats $46 million dollars for challenging the spirit of the game lol..this is too funny

  32. jdvallee says: Jun 13, 2012 1:33 PM

    Anyone remember Garrett Mills and Brad “Chilly” Childress? Don’t make it sound like B.B. is the first one claim someone off waivers…..Bottom line, Reese tired to get a little “too cute” and it cost his team a promising young TE.

  33. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Jun 13, 2012 1:33 PM

    Belidick knows exactly what the ‘unwrittens’ are. He and his team are just arrogant jerks who think they are above everyone else and I wish them nothing but the worst.

  34. emoney12 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:34 PM

    Patriots cheating again.

    Seems to be the only way New England can beat the Giants theses days.

  35. demons87 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:35 PM

    So the Giants thought they would be smart and try to slip this through while everyone is concentrating on their minicamps and essentially get an extra roster spot. It would have worked too if it wasn’t for those meddlin’ kids (and their dog) to the north.

    Now they are perturbed that someone took advantage of the rules in place so you can’t stash players, which is what the Giants were trying to do.

  36. chc4 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:36 PM

    This is a Giants problem. Belicheck and the Pats did nothing wrong. And I couldn’t care less about either team.

  37. profootballwalk says: Jun 13, 2012 1:36 PM

    The Patriots brought in two tight ends last year, and both were cut and signed by other teams. It happens. The Giants tried to get cute with a valuable player and suffered the consequences.

  38. pixelito says: Jun 13, 2012 1:37 PM

    The Patriots not playing by the rules?

    Jeez, cheat in the Superbowl 3 times and suddenly nobody trusts you anymore?

  39. ksm31311 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:39 PM

    You really think BB would have said anything if this happened to him and the Patriots?

    Please…

  40. tunescribe says: Jun 13, 2012 1:41 PM

    Perhaps you should be more specific as to what the alleged “unwritten rules” actually are involving the waiver process. The Giants were stupid, Belichick is right. Nothing more to it than that.

  41. rc33 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:42 PM

    and the Patriots better not try the same tactic, having alerted the league to their indifference to the “unwritten rules.”
    ——————————-

    Correct me if I’m wrong Darin but if Tom Coughlin says he “doesn’t know what unwritten’s you’re talking about,” exactly what on earth ARE you talking about?
    The man was placed on waivers.
    Anything unclear about that…other than media schleps doing what media schleps do?

  42. mullman7675 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:42 PM

    The pats follow the mold of their head coach- petty, cheap and rooted in loose ethics.

    William is a punk. There are no “unwrittens” but this move was based on spite and bitterness. The only redeeming quality is that he stuck it to the Maras and the giants.

    pats fan= chowder loving honks

  43. beefsbrother says: Jun 13, 2012 1:45 PM

    So the Giants got punked while trying to screw one of their better young players. I’m all broken up about that.

  44. bullcharger says: Jun 13, 2012 1:45 PM

    I still don’t get it. The Patriots are willing to carry him on their 90 man roster and Giants weren’t. There shouldn’t be any controversy.

    The Patriots understand the waiver rule very well. Several of the players they put on waivers last year were scooped up.

  45. joshp85 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:48 PM

    Reminds me of the time the Patriots video taped their opponents and won the super bowl in 2004. Then they got caught and never won since.

    NFL will destroy the evidence as protocol

  46. n0hopeleft says: Jun 13, 2012 1:49 PM

    While Tommy might be “bothered” about Ballard, the fact of the matter is Billy Boy is still PISSED about losing another Superbowl to the Giants.

  47. saintsfan83 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:53 PM

    No bountygate bs in the last 48 hours Florio must be councussed . Good old Belicheat at it again

  48. patriotsdefense says: Jun 13, 2012 1:56 PM

    When you cut a player there MUST be a risk to that transaction. The player was waived and the Patriots made a smart football move.

    During the final 2011 Training Camp cuts, the Patriots lost 9 players to waivers. (2 TE’s to teams within the division). Garrett Mills, a TE, got pouched from the Patriots in 2006 by the Vikings in similar fashion to Ballard just now.

    Ballard is sad to leave NY, but trust me he is pleased to get $540,000 not to play football this season. His contract and his rights now belong to the Patriots.

    The Giants have 90 roster spots and it doesn’t make sense to risk a player this talented.

  49. atxpatfan says: Jun 13, 2012 1:57 PM

    Coughlin should be mad at himself…it was a dumb move on his part.

    He’s mad because he tried to pull a fast one and it didn’t work out.

  50. youdownwithjpp says: Jun 13, 2012 1:57 PM

    dirtmcgirt24 says:
    Jun 13, 2012 1:32 PM
    Where, oh where, will the Giants turn to replace this difference maker at TE? And by difference maker, I mean a hair over 2 catches per game and run blocking that helped pave the way for the league’s worst rushing attack.

    As a Giants fan, I love the kid, but, Tony Gonzalez he is not. And it’s not like the team has a ton of cap room to spare for a guy who will catch 0 passes in 2012. There are other more important guys to resign.

    Belichick did the Giants a favor.

    ——————————————–

    I agree with your sentiment.

  51. n0hopeleft says: Jun 13, 2012 1:57 PM

    1.) Spiteful move by New England – no coincidence they were the only team interested.

    2.) A ton of respect lost for the Patriots organization.

    3.) Bill – go buy another video camera, cause you aren’t as good without it.

    4.) Are you looking for a Tight End who wont actually get beat by a journeyman linebacker in the biggest game of his life?

    5.) How about them Yankees?

  52. postfixer says: Jun 13, 2012 1:58 PM

    emoney12 says:
    Jun 13, 2012 1:34 PM
    Patriots cheating again.

    Seems to be the only way New England can beat the Giants theses days.

    ———

    Please explain how claiming a player off waivers is cheating.

    I’m not holding my breath for an answer.

  53. n0hopeleft says: Jun 13, 2012 2:00 PM

    xxwhodatxx says:
    Jun 13, 2012 1:06 PM
    Maybe BB got the idea from Tom Coughlin’s unwritten rule book. Also included is a whole chapter on faking injuries and another on too many men on the field to run opponents clock.

    _______________________________

    Would you like some ketchup with that WAAAAAAAAMBURGER?

    Cry because your team sucked on the big stage last year. CRYYYYYYYYYYYY.

  54. patriotsdefense says: Jun 13, 2012 2:02 PM

    stanklepoot says: Jun 13, 2012 1:21 PM

    This isn’t the first time. The Pats “broke” another unwritten rule when they signed Wes Welker. The Dolphins were trying to keep him at a huge discount with the RFA tender they gave him, and Belichick swooped in and got a great steal.Personally, I love when things like this happen, no matter which team gets the player. All of these unwritten rules seem to revolve around ways that teams can screw over a player and keep them under contract. This is a really simple story. The Giants signed him to a contract, and he got injured helping them win a SB. The Giants then tried to save some money by cutting him, figuring no one would sign him off waivers. They’d later go and offer him a reduced contract because he was injured. End result, they figured they’d keep an extra roster spot open and force him to play for less money because he got injured helping them succeed. I’m glad someone picked him up off waivers.

    ===================================

    You are wrong. The Patriots worked out a trade with the Dolphins for Welker. Welker then became the Patriots RFA, but the Patriots then signed him to a 5 year deal (which he finished last season.)

    So there was no RFA claim and out bidding or anything.

    It is not the Patriots fault the Dolphins multivalued Welker.

  55. nepo784 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:03 PM

    Waaaaah. Here’s a thought… It’s your fault Coughlin. U tried to screw the system but those smarter than you beat you to the punch. Hence why you’re an overrated clown

  56. morgan420 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:04 PM

    Ya I think just might start a little fude within the NFL front office’s

  57. spauldingsmails says: Jun 13, 2012 2:09 PM

    BB is such a horse’s behind. He knows darn well the ‘unwritten rule’ he claims he doesn’t know.

    The incident with the Pats & Vikings was around TE Garrett Mills & LB David Herron, who spent parts of the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the Vikings

    Herron had only 15 tackles in 16 games during his first Vikings’ stint. He’s better known as being a pawn in the early stages of what became a recurring feud between former Vikings coach Brad Childress and Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

    Shortly before the 2007 season began, Childress made a waiver claim for tight end Garrett Mills. Belichick called Childress and asked him to drop the claim so the Patriots could move Mills to their practice squad. Belichick said he wouldn’t claim any Vikings that were released. Childress not only rejected the offer, he went public with his conversation with Belichick and Belichick’s reaction when Childress told him no.

    “Belichick didn’t really care for that,” Childress said at the time. “He was trying to leverage, but you always find out who is honest and straightforward.”

    Belichick retaliated by claiming Herron, whom the Vikings released with hopes of adding him to their practice squad. The Patriots ended up releasing Herron quickly; he re-signed with the Vikings and played two games in 2007.

  58. rc33 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:14 PM

    2.) A ton of respect lost for the Patriots organization.

    ————————————-

    Oh please, give us another chance!
    I don’t know how we can move forward without some jamoke having complete “respect” for the organization.
    Just one more chance.

  59. bigbluefan1 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:15 PM

    Thats ok BB got Jake a kid was well aware of the Giants plans for his future.
    But the Giants have something much better and the is ability to beat Pats

    We will get another TE in Jerry we trust but BB the Giants know your weaknesses and know how to whip your boy Brady.

    Not only did the Giants beat the Pats twice when it really mattered but the Giants did not offer BB a job after the tuna swam away.
    Remember BB the only rings you got with out cheating were in the Meadowlands

  60. thegronk87 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:18 PM

    but the giants can fake injuries in order to stop the clock.

  61. nflofficeadmin says: Jun 13, 2012 2:18 PM

    Ballard is going to disappear on the Pats without TE coach Pope. It was a bitter and angry move – poorly thought through.

  62. schmitty2 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:19 PM

    The Giant’s shouldn’t care. They have a 291 lb replacement

  63. pongonfl says: Jun 13, 2012 2:22 PM

    “All of these unwritten rules seem to revolve around ways that teams can screw over a player and keep them under contract. ”

    thats what this feels like to me too.
    play games with a guys life when he is hurt and see if he holds any loyalty to you.

  64. tommyribs says: Jun 13, 2012 2:30 PM

    I am a GIANTS fan, but I’ll come right out and say it. They tried to get cute with the rules and backdoor a guy to stash him away and it blew up in their faces.

    Good for the Patriots, they got a good player.

    The GIANTS were going to do the same thing with Victor Gruz, but they hada feeling the JETs would claim him, so they put him on the active roster at the beginning of 2010, then he hurt his hamstring, and the IR’d him.

    Reese is a great GM, but the risk was realized on this one. It happens.

    All in all it’s not that big a deal. Ballard is not going to play this year, and then he’ll be a Free Agent after 2012 anyway.

  65. drewsylvania says: Jun 13, 2012 2:30 PM

    Entirely the Giants’ fault. What BB did is completely within the rules. And it’s not like he’s the only coach to do it.

  66. hysto1 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:32 PM

    Unwritten rules = collusion.
    After the whole Cowboys and Redskins salary cap punishment, nobody wanted to mess with the Giants.

    Nevertheless, if the Giants really want Ballard back, they can make a trade offer of a player or draft pick to the Patriots.

  67. justincase92121 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:32 PM

    Didn’t the Giants do something similar to Steve Smith? Hasn’t history taught you anything at all? Shame on you for falling asleep at the wheel and then complain when someone pulls the rug out from under you.

  68. sschmiggles says: Jun 13, 2012 2:33 PM

    nygiantstones says:
    Jun 13, 2012 1:10 PM

    Belichich likes to play passive aggressive games because he’s bitter over losing the last two Superbowls to the Giants. He can keep Ballard and rot in his bitterness. Belichich has no class and can have this victory if it helps him sleep better at night.
    ____________________________

    Sounds to me like you’re the bitter one.

    Pretty sure Belichick knows this doesn’t “get back” at the Giants for winning the SB. Also pretty sure he doesn’t care.

  69. granadafan says: Jun 13, 2012 2:35 PM

    Unwritten rules = collusion. I’m surprised the NFLPA isn’t all over these “unwritten rules”.

  70. mn2long says: Jun 13, 2012 2:35 PM

    Awesome!!! I just wish the Cowboys would have done it. They could use another tight end.

  71. sschmiggles says: Jun 13, 2012 2:38 PM

    @spauldingmails

    You just made clear why that was a completely different situation. Belichick was pissed because Childress took a private conversation to the media so he flaunt his little accomplishment in front of everyone.

    Unless Jerry Reese gave Belichick a call and asked him not to claim Ballard, I don’t see how the situations are related. You Pats haters will say anything to fuel your little crusades.

  72. mn2long says: Jun 13, 2012 2:38 PM

    Huh, why doesn’t Mara just vote to dock the Patriots salaray cap 10 million over the next 2 years for not operating “within the spirit of the rules”? Sounds very similar to the un-written salary cap that JJ and Danny violated…

  73. jaydog76 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:42 PM

    Think Tiki is flabbergasted over this?

  74. patriots123456 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:42 PM

    This isn’t rocket science.

    Don’t waive anyone you can’t afford to lose, because LEGALLY 31 teams have a chance to pick them up.

    And the beat goes on. LOL

    I do think however that Coughlin is acting like he had no input to this move. As head coach I would have thought they at least would have ran that player move by him.

  75. discosucs2005 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:43 PM

    I don’t even understand what the Giants are mad about. It’s not like the Pats are going to gain anything from this except the chance to sign him. If the Giants want him so bad they can make him an offer the Pats won’t match; if they don’t want him that bad, well then why are we still talking about it?

  76. mnlittle says: Jun 13, 2012 2:47 PM

    Think the Pat’s feel like this makes up for the free nine points to start the Super Bowl? Better be careful NE the league takes care of it’s favorite home team!

  77. SparkyGump says: Jun 13, 2012 2:48 PM

    I so very enjoyed watching the Giants beat the Patriots twice in two Superbowls and I’m not even a Giants fan. it still doesn’t make sense to me that Belichick got away with spying with only a slap on the wrist. He should have got the same treatment Sean Payton got. Losing those two Superbowls is Karma in action.

  78. tcostant says: Jun 13, 2012 2:49 PM

    Seems Jerry Reese is smart to me. Let someone else pay him half a million next year (not to play). Remember that those “exclusive rights” is a if he is tagged. He won’t be tagged with the TE’s on New England roster plus he’ll be coming off an ACL. The Giants can just wait and sign him in 2013 if needed as a free agent.

  79. j0esixpack says: Jun 13, 2012 2:56 PM

    Coughlin waives an expensive injured player in the hopes of stiffing Ballard on $500,000.

    Apparently Coughlin is the victim here.

    Belichick agrees to pay Ballard $500,000 to rehab (and now can match any offer next year to retain him.)

    Apparently he’s the bad guy.

    NFL fans sure do have a funny way of looking at things.

  80. psousa1 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:57 PM

    No, there is more at work here. Ballard is a good solid TE. Aaron Hernandez’s contract is up and this might be insurance for future (Hernandez only has ‘TE’ beside his name in the media guide. He is more of a slot receiver anyway.

  81. jakek2 says: Jun 13, 2012 2:57 PM

    Giants’ fan here who loved what Ballard did for us last year but lets not make this out to be like the Pats stole the second coming of Shannon Sharpe or something. Much of Ballard’s production was because teams were busy stopping Nicks, Cruz and Manningham. When not focused on those guys, they were busy keying on the run. Ballard was never more than a 4th option. Unless NE or any team for that matter has the firepower like the Giants have to give Ballard some space, he will be useless. More so now that he’s on a bum wheel that won’t be improved for 2 years.

    Thanks for the memories Jake. Good luck in NE.

  82. folkcrusader says: Jun 13, 2012 3:07 PM

    Lol, 80 posts by a bunch of idiots saying that the hottest coach in the league and 30 other teams are wrong. Belicheat always has and always will march to his own drummer. Some love him for it, some don’t. He has been extraordinarily successful so he can piss off who he wants. Fans ride his jock because he wins, but what will he have when Tom Brady retires? Hint, he’ll just be another forgotten coach with bad hair and a bad attitude.

  83. mochris says: Jun 13, 2012 3:15 PM

    This “rule” has been around for a long time, and was observed out of respect until BB came along. He took both dominik hixon and josh Barrett from the broncos the same way.

  84. all4patriots says: Jun 13, 2012 3:21 PM

    “He stuck it to the Maras and the Giants.”

    If you watched the Belichick “A Football Life” movie you realize that BB’s fondness for the Giants organization is only passed by that for the Patriots. He said as much, teary-eyed as he toured old Giants stadium before it was torn down.

    “This is a great organization,” he said. “Hard not to get choked up about it.”

    “Those were 12 great years in my life,” he said. “I loved every one of them with the Giants: the people that I worked with, where I lived, our community. Two of my kids were born there, so there are a lot of fond memories there, absolutely.”

    the facts: There was a player on waivers who was good enough to help out in a year, a very low cost. It did not matter what team it was was that waived him.

    Just a cold, hard cost-benefit analysis.

  85. tcostant says: Jun 13, 2012 3:30 PM

    The only unwritten rule that must be followed in the NFL?

    Don’t go over the salary cap in an upcapped year!

  86. spartan822 says: Jun 13, 2012 3:30 PM

    With all of the written rules in the NFL, there’s really no need for unwritten rules.

  87. all4patriots says: Jun 13, 2012 3:32 PM

    People seem to be strangely interpreting his quotes.

    Isn’t Coughlin mad about the mistake made by his own front office?

  88. xtb3 says: Jun 13, 2012 3:37 PM

    Ballard will play THIS YEAR for the Patriots. Gronkowski and Ballard – try to cover these monsters.

    Giants won both Super Bowls INSPITE of having old arm flailer Coughlin on sidelines screaming his head off or Jerry Reese taking all the credit for himself.

    Bonehead move by the boneheads.

  89. kylecleric says: Jun 13, 2012 3:55 PM

    Players are claimed off waivers all the time. The difference in this case is that the player put on waivers was too good of a player to have been put on waivers in the first place. Like I said 2 days ago, every team should have put a waiver claim on him.

  90. 11jlacy says: Jun 13, 2012 4:07 PM

    Coach coughlin needs to chill out

  91. kacapaco says: Jun 13, 2012 4:23 PM

    You play by the rules engraved not by assuming favors from competitors. Instead of holding him to the 90 roster, Giants tried to take advantage of nonexistent rule and got ‘outwitted’. Lesson learned.

  92. billsfan1 says: Jun 13, 2012 4:44 PM

    what they really mean is that BB only finds it ok to break “written rules”. This clown will sign anybody off a team to pick their brain then cut him…

  93. covercorner says: Jun 13, 2012 4:52 PM

    The Giants messed up, plain and simple.

  94. mikegoldnj says: Jun 13, 2012 4:57 PM

    Maybe you Giants haters should get actual facts before posting.

    Coughlin and the Giants are not making any claim about “unwritten rules.” It was a reporter that brought it up to Belichick.

    “And yes, despite some chatter that the Patriots broke some unwritten rule of claiming an injured player, Coughlin said that’s not the case at all.

    “I don’t think there’s any question about that part of it,” he said. “Whatever the options are based on what the rules are, based on the procedural circumstance, all is fair.””

  95. wuuh says: Jun 13, 2012 5:27 PM

    If there are no “unwritten rules” what exactly did the Cowboys and Redskins violate?

  96. jfolland says: Jun 13, 2012 5:52 PM

    I like how when BB poaches a player like this, all of a sudden the former not-much-of-a-factor TE is practically hailed as a probowler and huge difference-maker. The kool-aid must be really good up in the northeast because there seem to be plenty of people drinking it.

  97. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Jun 13, 2012 6:18 PM

    Tom Coughln is still Belicheck’s kryptonite

  98. bbk1000 says: Jun 13, 2012 7:08 PM

    Those who follow the sport understand what Belichick does.

    He and Brady work well together, he did keep him over Bledsoe…

    There is actually a small sample of evidence that he may be ok without Brady, but I’m not buying it…

  99. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Jun 13, 2012 7:23 PM

    Patriots better watch out, Mara might see that they are docked some cap space for treating the waivers process like an actual waivers process.

  100. blowtorch1964 says: Jun 13, 2012 7:38 PM

    I am a Giants fan. They stashed Cruz on IR in 2010, the league had a hearing and the Giants got away with it. This time they exposed the player to claims and got burned. They tried to manipulate the rule to free up roster space, it’s their fault.

    I am surprised that he was claimed with a torn ACL though, probably as surprised as Reese and Coughlin.

  101. chinoloco93 says: Jun 13, 2012 10:37 PM

    Okay, the pats bashers are out of hand here.

    The Pats are wrong because they are willing to pay the kid 540K not to play and rehab for a year and use up a roster spot to save him during training camp.

    The Giants are right because they wanted to be cheap and re-sign the kid after he comes back from the injury so they don’t pay his salary for next year.

    What am I missing here?!?!?!

  102. patsfiend says: Jun 13, 2012 11:16 PM

    I wonder if this was any team other than the Patriots if it would even merit a story, never mind a story with 100+ comments. PFT, you guys are gonna be bummed in another 5 or 10 years, after Brady and Belichick are both gone and the Pats constant winning stops breeding all these haters.

    Coughlin and Belichick are buddies, by the way, going way back to the Giants early 90′s teams. I’m sure Coughlin is most pissed at the GM who put a good player out there on waivers and hoped nobody would notice.

    Whoops!!!

  103. kingcarlbanks says: Jun 14, 2012 8:02 AM

    As a Giants fan im sad to see Ballard leave, but everybody is making a big deal over nada. Fact is Giants tried to be sneaky and BB decided to pick him up. Giants lost a young good (but not great) te and will move on. Just like with Shockey and Boss. Im quite sure they will be able to replace his production. Good luck in NE Jake. And stop all the BB bashing, would this even be a story if the Dolphins signed him?

  104. cantgetenoughwp says: Jun 14, 2012 9:28 AM

    It sounds to me like Reese wanted to stash Ballard, and Coughlin wasn’t on board with it. Simple as that.

  105. wferg1121 says: Jun 14, 2012 11:11 AM

    I watched the interview, the Giants never mentioned unwritten rules the reporter did. All Coughlin said was he was disappointed that he lost Ballard. It wasn’t like he was screaming and huffing and puffing about it like many of the articles insinuate, he is just answering the questions that were asked about Ballard.. What is he supposed to say?? “I am happy that we lost Ballard, he wasn’t going to contribute nothing for us this year anyway.”

  106. racerx2k11 says: Jun 14, 2012 12:10 PM

    O’Mara is curently building a coalition amongst NFL owners to have the Patriots docked a roster spot next year. Expect the other owners to all vote to up hold this and the Pats will roll with a 52 man roster all season long. It will be announced just before the season opens on wednesday night in september.

  107. rushmatic says: Jun 14, 2012 4:42 PM

    69jaredallen69 says: Jun 13, 2012 1:05 PM

    Belichick got pissed when Vikings signed TE Garett Mills a few years back after final cuts when he wanted to sneak him on practice squad. Said Vikings violated unwritten rule and as a result showed no mercy in running up score on Vikings that year. Can’t have it both ways Bill!

    _______________

    I remember that situation. I’d love to see where Belichick said that, though.

    I know you’re a Vikings fan and all, but there’s no need to make stuff up.

  108. psychosteeler says: Jun 14, 2012 6:03 PM

    you know why they are unwritten rules?because they dont exist.pass that along to baseball also.u can swing at 3-0 pitches when u are up 13-2,u can try to get the next guy out after a homerun instead of throwing at the next guy,and if one of your guys gets hit,you dont have to hit one of theirs.and if i hit a hr,i can taunt you,and it doesnt mean you hit the next batter you sissy.and fix the strike zone to be the same for every pitcher ok?go steelers lol

  109. patriotsdefense says: Jun 14, 2012 10:57 PM

    You really have to admit, it was foolish for the Giants to cut him. The solution for teams to avoid this situation was the 10 additional roster spots in the jump from 80 to 90 players.

    To try to slide this type of talent by 31 other competitors as a favor to his own team was silly for Resse. It was boarded line arrogant.

    It must also be said, are 30 other GM’s asleep at the wheel? Why not place a claim on this type athlete who is just 24 years old. Are you all just collecting passive payhecks? Wake up. This is a competition. Compete. Parity is a mother…..

  110. axespray says: Jun 15, 2012 1:22 AM

    with victor cruz and a good Qb, who cares about a sort of good tight end.

  111. drednot says: Jun 15, 2012 6:16 AM

    If memory serves the Vikings did this to the Patriots a couple of years ago. Why wasn’t anyone crying about the Vikes breaking unwritten rules then? All you people are hypocrites!

  112. jenniferxxx says: Jun 15, 2012 9:04 AM

    Nobody on the Giants is crying about this or saying anything about ‘unwritten rules’.

  113. witchrunner says: Jun 15, 2012 10:47 AM

    I have to agree with Belichick on this one. There are no unwritten rules. Every year you read about these types of situations and the analysis is always about whether a team should “take a chance” that the player will clear waivers. Sometimes they do, but more often they don’t. Also, note that there isn’t any complaints from the Giants regarding this. Belichick’s comments came from an inquiry from a reporter. I suspect the reporter was well aware that there was no “unwritten rule” and that he just wanted a sound bite from Bill. It’s also clear Coughlin isn’t upset that the Pats took the guy and he isn’t surprised to lose him. He is, however, upset that management decided to take the chance in the first place, against Coughlin’s advise.

  114. ken1lutheran says: Jun 15, 2012 11:59 AM

    Very simple. The Giants outsmarted themselves. Of course Coughlin’s PO’ed, and it’s not at Belichick. If he were mad at BB, he’d say so. No; he’s PO’ed at whoever it was in the front office who thought they could slip Ballard through waivers at a time when there was a 90-man roster.

    This article confirmed my suspicions of the Giants’ reasoning on this.

    The Patriots are going to be a winning team for many years to come; like the Rooneys in Pittsburgh, Bob Kraft is an owner who does what it takes to win. As soon as Kraft arrived, they became an over-.500 team; they won the conference championship in his third year there. Since Kraft arrived in 1994, the Patriots have the best won-lost record in the NFL, and have won both the most conference championships and the most Super Bowls of any team in the league. Brady replaced Bledsoe, a championship QB; when he missed the season with an injury, the Pats were 11-5 with Matt Cassel (compare what happened to the Colts when Peyton Manning went down).

  115. bbk1000 says: Jun 15, 2012 5:06 PM

    When all is said and done the Giants will be fine. Unlike Belichick, Jerry Reese finds gems like this all the time.

    He will find many more, while Billy Boy will continue to look to sign other teams discoveries.

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